Kropotkin also contended that we have a predisposition to help one another, and we do so without governmental coercion. A centralized government is not necessarily needed to set an example or to make people do the right thing. People were doing so before the rise of the State. In fact, Kropotkin maintained that it is government that represses our natural tendency for cooperation. He accused historians of giving little attention to the lives of the masses and their inclination to help each other, offering up instead a distorted view of civilization through a series of "epic poems, the inscriptions on monuments, the treaties of peace - nearly all historical documents bear the same character; they deal with breaches of peace, not with peace itself" (Kropotkin 1989, 117). Mutual Aid.